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The Soft Machine - Face And Place Vol. 7 (also called Jet Propelled Photographs and At The Beginning) CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.18 | 19 ratings

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3 stars This is an archival recording that will be absolutely essential to Soft Machine/Canterbury fans, but I'm pretty sure the average prog fan wouldn't deem it to be a particularly crucial recording. It sees the original Soft Machine line up of Daevid Allen, Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt let loose on nine psych-era cuts that weren't deemed worthy of release at the time, but which certainly offer a fantastic glimpse into the roots of the quirky Canterbury style that would eventually emerge from the various projects these men would helm.

Perhaps of most importance is the brilliant stoner I Should've Known which sees an Allen guitar freak-out and even a brief Wyatt drum solo. But tracks When I Don't Want You, Jet Propelled Photographs (with some truly bizarre vocal exchanges) and That's How Much I Need You Now are probably my faves, foreshadowing the tasty whimsical sounds that would adorn the first two Soft Machine albums before the group moved into full fledged jazz-rock. Other songs of note also include the Animals-like ravers Save Yourself (with a brief Ratledge solo) and track You Don't Remember.

The psych/soul/jazz pot-pourri is very much of its time and gets a little repetitive by the end of the record. There are also a fair amount of bum notes here and probabaly also little full blown prog for most proggers. I must say however that I enjoy this record more than some of the later dense fusion experiments that the group would embark upon. ... 59% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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